As a Ham Operator, I would love to be able to control the orientation of directional satellite & ISS antenna and Telescope - in order to track these objects across the sky for communication and video photography.
While the antenna is fairly light, the telescope is more massive and may require a separate set of motors. Ideally, I would like both to operate using a single mount, but realize this may be impossible.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
You’re essentially building a large gimbal… You may be able to use gimbal motors for this. Alternatively, a “typical” brushless motor with a very high gear ratio would provide plenty of torque for moving the scope, and give you smooth rotation thanks to the higher motor RPM.
Hardware wise, I’ve been experimenting with DIY worm gears but did only a wooden prototype, seems quite doable if you have a lathe
Software wise, take a look at the following projects
Basically you can use gpredict to feed hamlib which supports number of protocols for antenna trackers. I’m going to implement one of these at some point as I want to build a cubesat tracker as well
Think I’ve decided for easycom v2 https://github.com/N0NB/hamlib/blob/master/easycomm/easycomm.txt
I think ODrive servomotors have plenty of power, and with enough gear reduction should be able to move around almost anything. Personally I don’t have very much to add when it comes to mechanical construction of your gimbal, but if it’s stirdy enough you should be good.
The other piece of the puzzle is the gear reduction. If you are looking to go the budget route, then a I think a DIY large belt pulley laser cut out of wood or delarin is a good way to do it. GT belts with 5mm pitch should be good here. And if you need even more torque, you can add a 10:1 planetary reducer between the motor and the belt, we have had some good exploration of gearboxes here.